POlice on the scene in the city of Munster. DPA/PA Images

Three dead and up to 20 injured after vehicle ploughs into crowd in Germany

Police said the driver also shot himself after the incident.

Updated 6.44 pm

AT LEAST THREE people have died after a vehicle ploughed into busy cafe and restaurant terraces in the German city of Munster before the driver shot himself dead.

Images on social media showed smashed and upturned tables and chairs strewn accross the pavement outside an eaterie in the centre of the picturesque medieval city.

At least 20 people were injured, six of them seriously, according to police, while media reports said the driver had been behind the wheel of a delivery van.

A police spokeswoman in the western city, Vanessa Arlt, told AFP that the driver of the vehicle “shot himself”.

“The perpetrator drove into several cafe and restaurant terraces in a major square in the centre of Munster,” Arlt added.

Police spokesman, Andreas Bode, said it was “too soon” to call the incident a deliberate attack.

Several media outlets have reported that the driver is a German national with a history of psychological problems.

The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, public broadcaster ZDF and news agency DPA said the assailant was a German in his late 40s and believed to be psychologically disturbed” with no known links to “terrorism”.

“Terrible news from Muenster,” German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in a tweet, saying local police were providing regular updates.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.”

AT LEAST FOUR have died after a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians in the German city of Muenster, the interior ministry said, quoted by news agency DPA.

A ministry spokeswoman was quoted as saying that the toll included the driver.

Local police had said earlier that he “shot himself” after driving into the crowd and leaving about 30 people injured.

“There are deaths and injured. Please avoid the area, we are on scene,” the regional police service said on Twitter.

Police also urged people to refrain from spreading “speculation” about the incident.

According to the online edition of the Spiegel magazine, German authorities were “assuming” the incident was an attack, though there was no immediate official confirmation of a motive.

Images broadcast by German television showed several police and firefighting vehicles clustered around a street in the centre of the picturesque medieval city of 300,000 people.

Images broadcast by German television showed police and firefighting vehicles clustered around a street in the centre of the city of 300,000 people.

Armed police were deployed and officers urged residents to avoid the city centre to allow investigators to get to work.

Germany has experienced a number of terror attacks in recent years, including through the deadly use of vehicles, but police have not yet labelled this as such.

© – AFP 2018 with reporting by Rónán Duffy

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